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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #15001
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Oh, I did start with the second episode since I wasn't really interested in the Monica Lewinsky stuff. I got the impression that there was less there of substance and more just the impression of stuff.

    I guess it depends what you consider a scandal. It seems you don't want to put much distance from actual scandalous activities and simply the perception of scandalous activities, as though both are equally scandalous. I think what I learned from the podcast was that there was little in the way of actual scandalous behavior, but loads in media perception. You could argue that people thought there were scandals and that the Clintons were bad at handling it, sure, but if little of it was of substance, do we still consider his presidency scandalous? I think George W. Bush's was more scandal prone TBH, in terms of actual, concrete, verified, real, not bull**** scandals like Whitewater.
    I have some thoughts about this, obviously, but don’t have time now to write them out right now. But yeah, I do think this touches on the crux of my position, and I think you’re right to say it depends largely on how you define what a scandal is. I do think there’s a difference between scandal and between bad behavior/bad governance (as I said above), and I don’t think they’re equally scandalous; only scandals are scandalous. Being scandalous isn’t the same thing as being bad at governance or being morally corrupt (which the Bush administration was worse at than the Clinton admin on both counts.)

    I think there’s a way to talk about this where it’s not just a semantic discussion where each of us are going back and forth saying, “this is what scandal means to me!” And that’s what I’ll write about later when I have the time.

  2. #15002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I well, uh, am personally familiar with media, and I don’t see reporters and editors as automatons who slavishly follow the dictates of their executive overlords.
    This is juvenile understanding of organizational behavior. Large organizations are capable of doing immensely unethical things without most (or even any) individual members of that organization behaving unethically, or recognizing that they have personally contributed to the problem.

    "Automatons who slavishly follow the dictates of their executive overlords" is not required to achieve an industry-wide editorial slant. All it takes is for management at the "liberal" mainstream outlets to encourage their responsible, ethical editors to pay respect to the business interests of subscriber growth and fairly report on the "opposing side", whatever that is. The employees individually think they're doing a good thing, gettin' themselves in on a big ol' circlejerk about how much more ****ing enlightened and centrist they are than those loudmouths on Fox, but the actual output of their organization is the exact same: giving monsters a megaphone, leaving left-wing advocates shouting to be heard over insano wackjobs, not only in the right-wing media where their views aren't represented at all, but in the left-wing media where they have to share a platform. And I guess you don't think that's working as intended?

  3. #15003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I have some thoughts about this, obviously, but don’t have time now to write them out right now. But yeah, I do think this touches on the crux of my position, and I think you’re right to say it depends largely on how you define what a scandal is. I do think there’s a difference between scandal and between bad behavior/bad governance (as I said above), and I don’t think they’re equally scandalous; only scandals are scandalous. Being scandalous isn’t the same thing as being bad at governance or being morally corrupt (which the Bush administration was worse at than the Clinton admin on both counts.)

    I think there’s a way to talk about this where it’s not just a semantic discussion where each of us are going back and forth saying, “this is what scandal means to me!” And that’s what I’ll write about later when I have the time.
    Okay, so correct me if I'm wrong about this, but here's my take-away from this conversation so you can understand what's got me boggling a bit:

    - You agree that George W. Bush was more corrupt and worse at governing than Clinton.

    - You agree that the media paid way more attention to Clinton's relatively minor personal problems than Bush's, uh, war crimes and gross violations of the constitution.

    - And you're mainly blaming the Clintons for how the media portrayed them, apparently without asking ^ critical ^ questions ^ about ^ this

  4. #15004
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    I well, uh, am personally familiar with big corporations, and I bet at one point in 2009 at a S&P 500 media company there was a director-level meeting about "president is a monkey" jokes to discuss why they wouldn't be able to make them anymore.

  5. #15005
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Okay, so correct me if I'm wrong about this, but here's my take-away from this conversation so you can understand what's got me boggling a bit:

    - You agree that George W. Bush was more corrupt and worse at governing than Clinton.

    - You agree that the media paid way more attention to Clinton's relatively minor personal problems than Bush's, uh, war crimes and gross violations of the constitution.

    - And you're mainly blaming the Clintons for how the media portrayed them, apparently without asking ^ critical ^ questions ^ about ^ this
    Ha. Whenever you accuse me of strawmaning you in the future I’m going to remember this post. Yes, you got me very wrong on this.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-23-2019 at 09:27 AM.

  6. #15006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Ha. Whenever you accuse me of strawmaning you in the future I’m going to remember this post.
    That's my interpretation of what you've posted. I wasn't being sarcastic when I asked you to clarify if you thought I was wrong. Please do.

  7. #15007
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    That's my interpretation of what you've posted. I wasn't being sarcastic when I asked you to clarify if you thought I was wrong. Please do.
    The press was intensely critical of the Patriot Act, of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, of wiretapping, of Gitmo, of the war in Iraq once it became clear it wasn’t going well, and so on and so on. The media absolutely paid attention to all these issues. No, I don’t think the media paid less attention to these issues than to Bill Clinton’s misconduct.

    I’m doing errands right now but I’ll elaborate when I can sit down and write a response to Reid and justify what I meant when I said that the Clinton admin was “wildly more scandalous,” which has more to do with how the media covered him then evaluating his governance itself.

  8. #15008
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    Did you possibly misinterpret my post, too? To elaborate, my understanding is that your position is basically that certain misbehavior is scandalous and certain misbehavior isn't, like it's tautologically more of a scandal when Clinton gets a blowjob than when Bush wiretaps the entire United States because people are more scandalized by Clinton's behavior. Considering that people are obviously more scandalized by the misbehavior that the media chooses to sensationalize and promote, though, this seems circular to me. This seems like saying the same thing as "the media chose to pay more attention to Clinton's personal problems than to Bush's crimes against humanity". And given your earlier posts, where you blamed the Clintons for their perception by the media (e.g. by acting "cagey") it sure seems like you're blaming Clinton for the media's failure to hold George W. Bush to a reasonable standard.

  9. #15009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    The press was intensely critical of the Patriot Act, of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, of wiretapping, of Gitmo, of the war in Iraq once it became clear it wasn’t going well, and so on and so on. The media absolutely paid attention to all these issues. No, I don’t think the media paid less attention to these issues.

    I’m doing errands right now but I’ll elaborate when I can sit down and write a response to Reid and justify what I meant when I said that the Clinton admin was “wildly more scandalous,” which has more to do with how the media covered him then evaluating his governance itself.
    The media paid attention, but they certainly didn't handle these issues with the same exhaustiveness that they handled Clinton's personal affairs. None of Bush's crits took on life.

  10. #15010
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    Back in the 90s my family took a trip to the US, and I remember seeing CNNs coverage of Operation Desert Fox (IIRC). The commentators spent most of the time talking about how Clinton might have ordered the attack to distract from the Lewinsky scandal.

    When Trump threatens Iran on Twitter, does the media report that it’s just a distraction from his rape allegations? No? Not scandalous enough?

  11. #15011
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Back in the 90s my family took a trip to the US, and I remember seeing CNNs coverage of Operation Desert Fox (IIRC). The commentators spent most of the time talking about how Clinton might have ordered the attack to distract from the Lewinsky scandal.

    When Trump threatens Iran on Twitter, does the media report that it’s just a distraction from his rape allegations? No? Not scandalous enough?

    I mean... yes? You hear all the time that “so-and-so” is just a distraction from the Mueller investigation, or whatever else. Case in point from just a few days ago: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/...ws-63915589818

  12. #15012
    Everybody knows “distraction” is a “classic Trumpian move.”

    https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/ne...235807045.html
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-23-2019 at 12:27 PM.

  13. #15013
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    Distraction is clearly a classic Eversor move, and if you disagree, that's just you trying to distract me from how right I am.

  14. #15014
    From Forbes, an article called “Gaslighters/Narcissists Are Masters Of Distraction”:

    Gaslighters/narcissists are masters of distracting from their behavior and statements by engaging in even more outrageous behavior and statements. It has been used by both sides of the political landscape for decades. However, it has reached a fever pitch. For example, President Trump’s verbal attacks on four duly elected congresswomen of color turns conversation and media coverage away from his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.for...straction/amp/

    From WashPo, an article entitled “Trump’s tweets are a distraction for something else he doesn’t want us to see”:

    As always, one must ask, what is the Something Else he doesn’t want us to see? Based on timing, my best guess is Jeffrey Epstein: financier, sex offender, globe-trotting gallivant and alleged sex trafficker of teenage girls.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/beta.wa...tputType%3Damp

  15. #15015
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    This is juvenile understanding of organizational behavior. Large organizations are capable of doing immensely unethical things without most (or even any) individual members of that organization behaving unethically, or recognizing that they have personally contributed to the problem.

    "Automatons who slavishly follow the dictates of their executive overlords" is not required to achieve an industry-wide editorial slant. All it takes is for management at the "liberal" mainstream outlets to encourage their responsible, ethical editors to pay respect to the business interests of subscriber growth and fairly report on the "opposing side", whatever that is. The employees individually think they're doing a good thing, gettin' themselves in on a big ol' circlejerk about how much more ****ing enlightened and centrist they are than those loudmouths on Fox, but the actual output of their organization is the exact same: giving monsters a megaphone, leaving left-wing advocates shouting to be heard over insano wackjobs, not only in the right-wing media where their views aren't represented at all, but in the left-wing media where they have to share a platform.
    I disagree here. A journalist is a professional, and as such has independent ethical and professional responsibility to execute their job to a certain standard. If a journalist lets themselves get caught up in a circle jerk, and fails to do due diligence in understanding the full story they are reporting, they've acted unprofessionally and unethically. Because people want crappy reporting, pretty much the only journalists in the business are unethical, but that doesn't absolve them.

  16. #15016
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    [B]ut mainstream media ... was doting and very charitable, and clearly wanted Obama to succeed in a way that was untrue with any Republican administration during my lifetime (and perhaps even the Clinton administration).
    Anecdotal but I remember late 2009 a news report about unemployment rising but that it was actually seen as a good thing since more people we looking for work. At the time I couldn't imagine a similar report airing during GWB's reign.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  17. #15017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    Anecdotal but I remember late 2009 a news report about unemployment rising but that it was actually seen as a good thing since more people we looking for work. At the time I couldn't imagine a similar report airing during GWB's reign.
    I mean, it can be. It's all to do with how it's calculated. Unemployment can drop due to people failing to find jobs for too long. It could also rise as those people try to enter the workforce. There is an optimal level of unemployment.

  18. #15018
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    The US official unemployment rate is U3 (which means if you’ve been involuntarily unemployed and haven’t actively applied for a job in more than 3 months, you are no longer considered part of the work force). It’s an incredibly aggressive metric and many people consider it more politically useful than actionable macroeconomic indicator.

    If U3 increases it could mean almost anything. Underemployed workers who quit to find a better job cause U3 to increase, and this sort of unemployment (called frictional unemployment) is good because the result is an aggregate improvement in productivity*. It can also mean previously disillusioned workers are looking for work again. Or it can mean the economy has collapsed. The only way you can actually understand U3 is by looking at U6. It is almost perfectly spinnable.

    * for a very economist definition of improvement
    Last edited by Jon`C; 07-24-2019 at 11:13 AM.

  19. #15019
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    I'd like to see more turnover in the labor market. It'd make it more competitive.

  20. #15020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I'd like to see more turnover in the labor market. It'd make it more competitive.
    Why would that be a good thing? Are workers paid too much now?

  21. #15021
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    https://old.reddit.com/r/Catholicism...ionaryfascist/

    Interesting thread here. Lots of "they aren't far right, because far right beliefs are factual". Some quotes stick out though as not expressing terrible beliefs:

    I remember posting here a while back for prayers for pregnant women being detained at the border. I got obliterated in the comments for it.

    We forget that these migrants and refugees are probably Catholic. They might have no access to spiritual guidance, Mass, Confession, and all our Sacraments if outsiders can’t get in. Our fellow Catholics are locked up, and the loudest voices are going “it’s their fault for coming”.
    But you have to scroll pretty far to see them.

    It's kind of unnerving how easily people find justification for the treatment of migrants. Even here I won't be surprised if someone comes in to downplay the issue.

  22. #15022
    I see a few posts in there to the effect of “legal immigration = good, illegal immigration = bad”.

    I find that distinction to be totally bewildering and find it bizarre that so many Americans accept axiomatically there’s a moral difference between the two things.

  23. #15023
    It’s pretty wild stuff, what’s happening on the Catholic right. A generation and a half ago Catholics were an ostracized minority and Protestantism was completely unrivaled. Now Catholic intellectuals are entertaining the (absurd) idea that Catholicism might become a kind of state religion.

    It’s like the right-wing religious equivalent of Bernie Sanders’ moonshot Medicare for All plan that abolishes private health insurance, requires no co-pays and covers dental insurance and makes all medical care entirely free: that is, it’s the sort of thing you’d come up with if you didn’t actually have to engage in politics or compromise, and could just do whatever you want. And it’s happening at a time when Catholicism couldn’t be less relevant culturally and less suited to America’s increasing diversity.

  24. #15024
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    someone
    Bait!

  25. #15025
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    Americans accept the distinction because they don’t know anything about how US immigration works. It’s easy to assume illegal immigrants are impatient scofflaws when you have the mistaken impression that the US has a legal immigration route.

  26. #15026
    Woah, interesting reddit thread. I haven’t had many direct engagements with “catholic stuff on the internet,” but I’ve heard there are some lively and rich debates going on in that world. Some of the posts in there which express not feeling at home with either party because neither party is fully compatible with political views stemming from religious commitments are relatable. Makes sense that many Catholics would feel that way.

  27. #15027
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I'd like to see more turnover in the labor market. It'd make it more competitive.
    Just make sure that managers have been in the military or worked EMS and the turnover will skyrocket.
    sniff

  28. #15028
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I see a few posts in there to the effect of “legal immigration = good, illegal immigration = bad”.

    I find that distinction to be totally bewildering and find it bizarre that so many Americans accept axiomatically there’s a moral difference between the two things.
    It's especially bizarre given the amount of 'illegals' who are in fact visa overstays, people who went through the supposed legal process.

    I wonder why the almost 700k (iirc) white illegal immigrants aren't being put in concentration camps? Baffling.
    sniff

  29. #15029
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    It's especially bizarre given the amount of 'illegals' who are in fact visa overstays, people who went through the supposed legal process.

    I wonder why the almost 700k (iirc) white illegal immigrants aren't being put in concentration camps? Baffling.
    How the “supposed legal process” begins, for those who aren’t aware: enter the US on a non-immigrant temporary work visa and *cough* change your mind once you’re across the border. The process starts with a felony, basically.

    I don’t know why anybody would bother with it anyway.

  30. #15030
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    As a patriotic citizen of the country that has probably suffered the most from US emigration, I gotta be honest. I don’t feel too bad that Americans have decided to cut off their productivity growths head and **** down its neck. The harder you guys regress back down the black hole economists call the middle income trap, the better a chance we have to escape it.

  31. #15031
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    How the “supposed legal process” begins, for those who aren’t aware: enter the US on a non-immigrant temporary work visa and *cough* change your mind once you’re across the border. The process starts with a felony, basically.

    I don’t know why anybody would bother with it anyway.
    Well it's my understanding more people are heading from the US to Mexico than the other way, so it seems like the word is out.
    sniff

  32. #15032
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    How the “supposed legal process” begins, for those who aren’t aware: enter the US on a non-immigrant temporary work visa and *cough* change your mind once you’re across the border. The process starts with a felony, basically.

    I don’t know why anybody would bother with it anyway.
    you dont know what its like to dream

  33. #15033
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Okay, so correct me if I'm wrong about this, but here's my take-away from this conversation so you can understand what's got me boggling a bit:

    - You agree that George W. Bush was more corrupt and worse at governing than Clinton.

    - You agree that the media paid way more attention to Clinton's relatively minor personal problems than Bush's, uh, war crimes and gross violations of the constitution.

    - And you're mainly blaming the Clintons for how the media portrayed them, apparently without asking ^ critical ^ questions ^ about ^ this


    There are a couple of things to consider here. Clinton had a relitivly easy presidency. He got to ride the dot com bubble for most of his tenure, and got to ride out the period between desert storm and 9/11 when the US had proved that it really was no one to mess with, and all it's major geopolitical enemies had essentially collapsed. He was generally liked, because there wasn't a whole lot to go wrong. Because the lack of opportunity, his critics necessarily were dealing with far more petty issues.

    Bush was a relatively poor president, but he also had far more difficult issues to deal with. Bush inherited the dot com bust, and got hit with 9/11 early on. Obviously his reaction to those problems sucked, but they were also way harder problems than anything Clinton had to deal with. Part of the reason Bush didn't get scrutinized as badly over the war and terrorism stuff, is that it had a lot more bipartisan support than people on the left like to remember. Yes, Bush's approval eventually slumped over the Iraq war, but a lot of the nasty stuff were things that continued to be an issue well into the Obama administration, and in some cases got worse. While there were some groups on the left (and the right) that attacked Bush for his war and terrorism policies, there were a lot of groups that wanted to use that same power when Bush left office to a likely Democrat candidate, so I don't think there was as unified a front to crucify him as thoroughly as he might have been. In addition, Bush's legacy was trashed by the end of his presidency anyway. There just wasn't a need to look for further reasons to discredit him.

    When the president is Republican, Democrats remember that they are anti-war. When a Democrat is president, Republicans remember that they don't like spending.

  34. #15034
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    Well it's my understanding more people are heading from the US to Mexico than the other way, so it seems like the word is out.
    Every time I come back into the US, I have to stand in line to take my checked baggage off of one carousel, and then walk it 50 yards to put it on another carousel. It's completely pointless, and I think it pretty much says it all about US immigration. It needs to be totally rebooted.

  35. #15035
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    is that it had a lot more bipartisan support than people on the left like to remember.
    I like how you're able to weave praise for bipartisan efforts in with a highly partisan claim, rofl. It's beautiful.

  36. #15036

  37. #15037
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    I read most of that (though skimmed in places). Reading his bio on wiki I can see he is quite the interesting guy.

    Lots of interesting territory covered in that essay. He also seems to be a talented writer, which doesn't surprise since it looks like he's written several books, not to mention that he has what looks like a wealth of interesting experience to draw from. And here's a ten minute panel segment he delivered on some of the same stuff (although I only listened for a couple minutes).

    I can't help but raise some criticism, though: some of the concepts he reasons with come across as so overarching as to be muddled / difficult to disprove, and, ultimately, somewhat reductionist. I think this is something that a lot of feminist writers fall prey to already (all discussion of power structures are rolled into one thing called patriarchy), but on top of that he (seems to?) ground all human conflict in a discussion about war. Or, maybe he is right to reason like this, and what I see as reductionist is necessary in order to reveal an aspect of human civilization that civilians are blind to? (Is "civil" society really just a veneer over a deeper power structure that is only revealed to those who have first hand experience with the power structures that armed conflict create (i.e., the military)?)

    If I had to pick one seemingly contentious claim here that I can't quite wrap my head around (and if I understand it correctly), it is that, somehow, patriarchy is more fundamental than either capitalism or war. If I understand correctly, I imagine he is arguing this in part by reasoning that war begot capitalism (or vice versa?), and that patriarchy begot war. Or in the reverse direction as well (quoting directly): "modern patriarchy is a creature of liberalism".

    In fact I can't actually say that it seems wrong per se, although it seems like a pretty bold thing to claim, as far as these things go.

    Edit: Or maybe I am the reductionist one? My caricature seems much more so that his prose, which, going back to, is a pleasure to read and is quite measured despite all the overarching themes. Maybe I'm just too dumb to understand this?
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-25-2019 at 02:52 AM. Reason: fixed up muddled penultimated paragraph

  38. #15038
    I just watched a bit more of that video I linked to, where he delivers his contribution to the panel. When I started hearing him talk about a "disgust reaction" to the permeability of the nipples and the vagina in order to argue by analogy that boundaries across human social structures are the result of male attitudes toward female sexuality, I was forced to conclude that Goff is a bit too clever for his own good. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-25-2019 at 03:16 AM.

  39. #15039
    Just sat through the majority of that panel (2014), skipping forward only in a couple places. Not a whole lot of introspection there, a decent dose of "eco-radical" activists being represented here (i.e., some of them from DGR), and tellingly a hair-trigger alert against the prospect of Warren Farrell style male victimhood taking them off the overriding theme that masculinity is the origin of all the world's problems (not really exaggerating on that bit, I watched the whole thing and sincerely got that impression).

    All in all, from what I can tell an amusingly aligned group of radicals rallied around a bunch of catch-all grievances, for folks who used the pejorative term "brainwashing" quite a bit in their own little rants.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-25-2019 at 04:39 AM.

  40. #15040
    Jon, Reid: you want to let sleeping dogs lie with the Clinton stuff? or do you want me to clarify, as I promised? I don’t want to cause further aggravation if that’s how you’d see me returning to that conversation (especially since things have cooled down a little), but I also don’t want to deprive you of a response, if you still want me to follow up. I’m fine with whatever.

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